The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, has acknowledged for the first time that Uefa's financial fair play (FFP) regulation is impacting on his club's transfer-market business this summer, a marked change in personal perspective which had seemed for weeks to be at odds with his club's desire to rein in spending.
Ahead of a week in which loaned players the club badly needs off its payroll – including Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bridge – are due back at Carrington, Mancini said "financial fair play is for everyone" and that City would therefore not "do what everyone thinks we will and pay £10m more than other clubs" for players.
Mancini (above), who suggested on 20 May that City could "spend the money" this summer before FFP kicked in, appears to have been persuaded of the realities of the new financial landscape by his chief executive, Garry Cook, who knows better than any at City that 2011-12 brings the start of the three-year monitoring period of FFP, during which clubs may post no more than £45m aggregate losses.
Extra commercial income will also help the long job of driving down City's £121m losses. A stadium naming rights deal had not, as of yesterday, been signed but such an agreement is a vital part of the commercial landscape ahead, with overall losses likely to exceed the £121m figure in October as City account for the £96.6m net expenditure plus wages of Jerôme Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Touré, Aleksandar Kolarov, Mario Balotelli and James Milner, who arrived too late to be factored into last October's published results.
Mancini, who suggested the £9m deal for Partizan Belgrade's Stefan Savic has been done and hinted that the club might compete for Samir Nasri, made it clear he considers himself the leading force in the summer transfer negotiations, saying: "I am fully involved, there is nobody above me, and that is obviously a new thing, but I work in a great club with extraordinary owners." City's directors may not entirely agree with that view of the power structure.
Craig Bellamy wants to have his £90,000-a-week contract written off, freeing him to resume his career elsewhere, but that is unthinkable to City, whose balance sheet does not need a £14m write-off.
City's first summer signing is the Arsenal left-back Gaël Clichy, who is expected to undergo a medical today.Reuse content